Over 150 young people from Malaysia, Cambodia and other Indonesian dioceses arrived in the island of Bali for the Asian Youth Day. Acclimatizing in witness of faith in an Islamic and multicultural majority.
Denpasar (AsiaNews) - More than 150 young delegates from Cambodia, Malaysia, and five Indonesian dioceses have been assigned to 10 parishes of the Denpasar diocese in Bali on the first stage of the Asian Youth Day (AYD). This stage involved contact with families and other young people in the diocese in a sharing experience of faith and life. This first stage of the AYD is called "Days in the Diocese" and lasts from the day of arrival (July 29) until August 2.
The central part of Ayd will be held from August 2 to 6 in Yogyakarta, Semarang diocese, and will develop around the theme for this year's edition: "Joyful Asia Youth, Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia".
This year's theme underlines the need for young Asians to follow Christ amidst the immense variety of culture and situations that dominate Asia. In this, Indonesia is a model: a country of over 260 million people, the fourth in the world), largely Muslim (86.1%), who live with minorities of Protestant Christians (5.7%), Catholics ( 3%), Hindu (1.8%), Confucians and others.
Roselinah Francis, of the Diocese of Keningan (Malaysia), expresses her appreciation for "Days in the Diocese": "They allow us to have first-hand experiences on the expression of people's faith. I am happy to be here in Bali, where there is a Hindu majority. The faith of Catholics here in Denpasar is really touching. " Roselinah is one of the youth leaders of her diocese. She also participated in the previous AYD edition in Seoul, which also saw the presence of Pope Francis.
About 100 Malaysian young people who arrived in Indonesia are in Denpasar and Palembang diocese.
Nhem Sophead, Phnom Penh, is an kindergarten teacher. Speaking to AsiaNews she says: "I feel good here in Bali, meeting Catholic friends and families and exchanging facts and experiences. All this was possible thanks to Ayd. " "Living Ayd in a country like Indonesia, with an Islamic majority - she adds – gives pause for thought to Cambodians who live in a Buddhist majority nation."
Gregorius Ambot, 33, of Ruteng (Indonesia) is "grateful for all these young people here in Bali who are doing their best to make us feel at home."
In addition to living with families, the days will be marked by Mass, by sharing of faith, Bible readings, drama, and dances.